German automobile journalists - a very special target group

The VOK DAMS : ILM, Institute for Live-Marketing, specialist for analysis, strategy development and event controlling, conducted a study to determine the importance of the medium „Live-Marketing“ for automobile journalists. One of the most important communication channels for the automobile producers is the trade press. The big question of how to get into these press reports, either through large special events or clinical product information.

The Following questions were the primal objectives when conducting the research data:
- Importance of events for automobile journalists
- Effect of quality and supervision of the event on site
- Ideal timeframe for product launches
- Importance of different elements within this kind of events

Goal of the survey was to determine the needs of automobile journalists concerning special events due to their huge importance for the automobile industry. The study focuses on the content of product launches, as well as the structure of the target group and their demands concerning information and supervision.

The proceeding of the survey consists of four central elements:
Briefing-analysis, event-report-analysis, expert-interviews and field research.

In the course of the briefing-analysis 31 briefings have been analyzed according to a part-standardized review pattern.The VOK DAMS Institute for Live-Marketing analyzed a total of 13 event-reports according to a part-standardized review pattern. Additionally 12 comprehensive interviews with market experts have been conducted. An online survey has been conducted with a total of 654 automobile journalists and 97 participants (rate of return of 14,8%). 

The key-findings of the study are the following:
1. The focus of the ideal product launch is the car.
2. Short and informative events are preferred.
3. A reduced supporting program is an advantage.

The communication medium „event“ is seen by many journalists as a very important part of their opinion formation (62,89%). Concurrently of high importance are individual test drives (54,64%). Unimportant however is the supporting program of the event (1,03%). Additionally 55,76% prefer a target-oriented presentation of the product within a single day.

The most important elements during a product launch event are product information and driving experience. Networking with the company and product presentation are also of importance, however networking with colleagues and destination are less important.

As a main source of error during product launch events the majority see the project organization on site. Negligible however are the factors destination, amount of participants and duration of the event.

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